Redundancy – from Whoa to Go
By Anissa Ljanta
Let’s face it, being made redundant sucks!
In the Grief Indicator chart put out by the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, loss of a job and being laid off rank high.
As with all grief, everyone will feel this differently.
If you don’t have a financial buffer to get you through these sorts of transitions or are the main income provider for your family, the prospect of redundancy can be terrifying.
It’s common to feel a huge sense of loss if you loved your job. While if you were moved on from a role where you were stagnating, it might be the push you needed to seek something different.
As with any massive life curveball, acceptance is the first step in moving on. Allow yourself time to grieve but don’t wallow in self-pity for too long.
Whatever your circumstances, if you’ve been made redundant, choosing to see it as an opportunity can help. It sounds twee but try adopting an ‘It’s happening anyway, might as well seize the day’ sort of an attitude.
Here is a loose road map to get you from Whoa to Go:
Do a finance review and draft a redundancy budget. How long will your redundancy payout last? Your financial needs will guide your next steps. Sorted.org.nz is a great place to find information and their budget tool is a good one.
Blue sky session. Stop and take stock. Take time out to tap into your dreams and aspirations. Now is a great time to explore your options. Your blue sky session might surprise you. Sometimes going through the process of fully investigating your dream of becoming an entrepreneur or designer is enough for you to decide otherwise. Check out our recent post on Ikigai and finding your purpose.
Here are five ideas to consider:
- Will you stick with the status quo and try to find another job like the one you’ve just left?
- Is it time to sidestep into another role? Check out online courses to support your move.
- Is it time to step up into management? You might want to sign up for leadership or governance training.
- Set up a consultancy? Go freelance?
- Embark on a course of study and take on part time work that pays the bills but allows you the headspace to focus on study?
Make a plan. Just like you would with any big work project, start by listing out the practicalities like refreshing your CV, updating Linked In, plan for making some extra cash, next steps for professional development, or working with a careers or life coach.
Include your budget to shape your timeframes. Develop a one pager of goals and deadlines and put that up on your wall or plug it into whatever your preferred app is to keep yourself on track.
Then you’re all systems go!
Refresh your CV and your mindset
How you explain a hole or redundancy in a CV often starts in your own head. Get clear on how you’re framing the transition. It’s not a career dead zone, it’s a sabbatical, an opportunity to up-skill, time to volunteer on a project or prioritising time for family. You don’t need to lie about redundancy but there’s no need to highlight it in your CV either.
Refreshing your CV is just one piece of what’s ahead of you. Check out these expert tips on writing a standout CV.
Reach out to your networks. Find someone who has been through redundancy. Nothing like hearing other people’s stories for inspiration and feeling less alone. When you’re clear on what your path forward looks like, reach out to your network again to get the word out that you’re in the market for a fabulous new role. You can be loud about that one!
Do all the things. Action your plan. You know what to do. Job hunt. Hire the coach. Sign up to that course. Aim to tick off three priority tasks a day.
Stay on track. Stay accountable to your goals. Keep ticking those tasks off on your to-do list. Ask a friend to be an accountability partner if you’re wavering. Ask for help when you need it.
Keep your spirits up. Do all those good things. Eat well, get enough sleep and do what keeps you at your best. Or at least not languishing in a darkened room – for too long. Go for walks, runs, yoga or gym classes. Use the time to embed those good practices and habits that you’ve always wanted to incorporate into your life.
Redundancy, or any time life-as-usual is stopped in its tracks, offers us space to reflect and hit refresh on our lives. Don’t squander that opportunity! Equally though – try not to be too hard on yourself.
What started out as a bummer, might be the motivation for getting your career where you want it to be.
About Anissa Ljanta
Anissa is an online content and comms specialist with a long history in the not-for-profit sector both here in NZ and internationally. She is on the board of her small local community library, is part of a delightful book club, several writers’ groups, and her idea of a fun Saturday night involves writing and wine. Words, social change and deep ecology are at the centre of her life.
Anissa can be found (and hired for word geekery) at www.anissaljanta.co.nz